11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?
As we move away from the pandemic, emergency measures like the reassignment of arts teachers can be reversed. Before the pandemic, data shows that the city was making modest progress every year in increasing the number of certified full-time arts teachers across the system (2856 in 2019-20 up from 2681 in 2015-16). Qualified arts teachers in New York State include elementary school teachers who are certified, but not working in the arts full-time, as well as teaching artists who are arts professionals teaching part-time in our schools. I expect that as principals revitalize their arts programs, middle and high schools in particular will choose to add full-time certified arts teachers. I will also encourage initiatives like a pilot in District 31 that supported elementary school teachers to add supplementary arts certification.